Friday, May 16, 2003

GlobeQUEST Launches Wireless Broadband Service

Globe Telecom, through its GlobeQUEST brand, launched last Friday one of the country's first wireless broadband Internet services which allows fast and instant Internet connection minus the complications of cables, sockets, jacks, and ports.

Dubbed as GlobeQUEST WiZ (Wireless Internet Zone), this is initially deployed at the newly-constructed Greenbelt 2 and 3 in Makati City, RCBC EAT Food Court, Greenhills Theatre mall, Pioneer Highlands Tower I Upper Ground level, Cebu City Sports Club, Ayala Center Cebu and University of Asia and the Pacific.

Immediately to follow within the month are The Legend Hotel, Fontana Leisure Park, Fontana Convention Center, Cebu Waterfront Hotel, Glorietta, Kaya Restaurant in Rockwell and Jupiter Street, and Kelly Blue Cafe in Pampanga among others. Its first Airport HotSpot will also be availablein Mactan International Airpot, Cebu.

WiZ allows connection to the Internet at broadband speeds using a WiFi enabled laptop or personal digital assistant (PDA). It is available in both prepaid and postpaid plans. As a value-added service to existing GlobeQUEST dial-up and DSL solo subscribers just need to pay an additional P500 per month to extend unlimited use to WIZ hotspots.

While the majority of the population remains oblivious to this new technology, such is expected to change soon. The main issue is portability. With Wi-Fi, a traveling businessman, for instance, can simply bring along his laptop computer from his/her home, to the office, to a restaurant, to a hotel or even to the airport and still be connected to the Internet.

Wi-Fi is noted to be cheaper and easier to deploy than its wireless counterpart, thereby, allowing people to take their offices with them and move place to place.

Wi-Fi, sometimes called Wireless Broadband or WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) and is known as 802.11b in technical parlance, is a specification developed by the Insititute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer (IEEE). It has become the only standard deployed for public short-range networks. Also known as local wireless network, Wi-Fi is slowly but steadily making its presence felt since its introduction in 1999.

So far, Wi-Fi offers connections of as fast 11 megabits per second of raw data at distances from several dozen to several hundred feet in 2.4 GHz spectrum -- more than enough speed to keep up with the average Internet connection. And that speed will further increase as new variations of the technology are developed.

Jesus Romero, Head of GlobeQUEST, believes that, "Wi-Fi may still be in its infancy stage, but once fully developed, it will definitely revolutionize the way people work and live."